Vladimir Kozlov was born in 1972 in Mogilev, an industrial city in the eastern part of what was then the Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. He spent his childhood and adolescence years on the suburbs of that city, witnessing the collapse of the Soviet empire and the advent of capitalism in its "wild" form, typical of most post-Soviet states.
Kozlov is a graduate of the Minsk State Linguistic University and the journalism school at Indiana University (USA). He has worked as a journalist, newspaper editor, translator, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. Since the early 2000s, Kozlov has lived in Moscow.
He is the author of more than a dozen fiction and non-fiction books, including Gopniki (Hoods) (2002, "the year's best prose book", according to the Russian book review Ex Libris), SSSR (USSR) (2009, long-listed for the national award Bolshaya Kniga), Domoy (The Return) (2010, short-listed for the award Nonkonformism and long-listed for the award Natsbest), 1986 (2012, long-listed for Natsbest) and Voina (War) (2013).
Kozlov won the Made in Russia award in the category Literature (2013), was nominated for GQ magazine's Men of the Year award in the Author of the Year category (2011, 2012).
His short story Mandariny (Tangerines) was long-listed for the 2012 Kazakov award for the year's best short story and the novella Desyatka (Number Ten) for the 2013 Belkin prize for the year's best novella.
In recent years, Kozlov has also been making independent films, including an adaptation of his novella Desyatka (Number Ten), which collected the Bronze Award at the debut film festival Spirit of Fire in Khanty-Mansiisk (Russia), and Sledy na snegu (Traces in the Snow), a groundbreaking documentary about the influential Siberian punk rock movement of the 1980's.
Kozlov's short story Drill and Song Day was published in the anthology Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia (Tin House, 2009) and the short story Politics was included in the anthology Best European Fiction 2014 (Dalkey Archive Press, 2014). His short fiction was published in English in the US in AGNI Magazine, Hayden's Ferry Review and 3:AM Magazine. The English translation of SSSR was published in the US in 2014 by Fiction Advocate as USSR: Diary of a Perestroika Kid (translated by Andrea Gregovich).